Archive for June, 2010

Trekathon 276: Dramatis Personae (DS9)

June 20th, 2010

Time for DS9 to take another run at the ‘possessed by alien energy’ plot. This one works a lot better than The Passenger, but that’s not a hard bar to clear.

There are some nice bits and pieces – Sisko as the disengaged yet vicious leader was nice. It was also a nice touch that the aliens were just twisting reactions and events, rather than replacing people’s memories wholesale. But it developed out of hand a bit too quickly, with Kira skipping from ‘annoyed’ to ‘assassinate the Commander’ too quickly to be believable even with the aliens.

I’m normally pretty easy to please in terms of suspending disbelief, but the ending with the alien energy sucked out of them and then sucked out into space? That was a bit too much even for me. For once, I think I’d have preferred the technobabble.

276 down, 461 to go.

Trekathon 275: Second Chances (TNG)

June 20th, 2010

The most interesting transporter malfunction so far. In a call back to the TOS episode The Enemy Within, Riker is duplicated in a transporter accident. Only this time it’s not an evil twin.

It’s a refreshing take on the older idea, and my only quibble is the lack of trauma in ‘Thomas’ Riker. He’s been trapped, alone, in this isolated base for eight years. But he doesn’t seem traumatised at all by it – in fact, you get the impression that the existence of the other Riker is the only thing causing him trauma. Frakes does a reasonable job in separating the two Rikers, but I think it would have been helped if he had a bit more to work with in the script.

275 down, 462 to go.

Trekathon 274: The Forsaken (DS9)

June 19th, 2010

Oh dear, it’s Lwaxana Troi.

Despite that handicap, I liked quite a bit here. O’Brien’s relationship with the computer seemed quite real to me – I’ve had similar thoughts about some of the computers that I’ve worked with. And while Lwaxana’s normal predatory approach was annoying, we learnt quite a bit about Odo that made his character seem much more rounded.

And is it just me, or did Lwaxana actually look a lot better without the wig?

In the end I found myself enjoying this one, as even the silly subplot with Bashir and the ambassadors worked quite well.

274 down, 463 to go.

Trekathon 273: Rightful Heir (TNG)

June 19th, 2010

Y’know, if I was Gowron I’d just go in the other direction whenever I saw Worf – he always seems to be caught in the middle of complicated difficulties for the Klingon Empire.

This time around he’s rewriting the Klingon constitution by reforming it into a constitutional monarchy. It’s a good episode, driven by Worf’s doubts and inner journey. It manages to transcend the somewhat silly premise of cloning an original Klingon hero.

As an aside, it’s interesting that we’ve now had almost a dozen episodes focused on Klingon politics, and really only one about those of the Federation. As a result we know far more about the Klingons, which seems odd.

273 down, 464 to go.

Trekathon 272: If Wishes Were Horses (DS9)

June 19th, 2010

A good teaser should make you eager to see the rest of the episode. If, even with my project to watch everything, I very nearly turned the episode off after the teaser then clearly things have not gone well.

The only thing that was keeping me watching by the time Odo says “please refrain from using your imagination” was the alternate-Dax, and poor old Bashir’s fantasies made into the best awkward moment Star Trek has managed. The other ‘imagination’ creatures are dull or annoying, missing out on a chance to tell us something about the other characters on the show.

Great Star Trek moment: this episode is the origin story for Sisko’s baseball, which will play in quite a few future episodes.

272 down, 465 to go.

Trekathon 271: Suspicions (TNG)

June 19th, 2010

I have some helpful advice for any writers considering using narration of any type for TV or movies: don’t. It has never, ever worked. It certainly doesn’t work here. I have similar remarks for people who want to use framing scenes and tell their story almost entirely in flashback.

There isn’t a lot to like here, even discounting for the inept framing. The other scientists have no existence other than broad caricatures. The pace of the plot is positively soporific. And then we have some very long technobabble sequences towards the resolution of the plot. Blurk. Worst in ages.

271 down, 466 to go.